Companies Support New Targets to Protect Earth’s Life Support Systems
Business leaders attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland this week are supporting a new science-based approach to tackling their companies’ impacts on both climate change and all the Earth’s natural systems.
The fight against climate change cannot be won without both decarbonizing our economies and restoring balance to the “global commons”: land, oceans, freshwater and biodiversity, alongside climate.
By taking action to reduce emissions alongside working to protect and restore nature, business can play a critical role in enabling society and the environment to thrive now and into the future.
Over 770 companies are already using science to specify how much and how quickly they need to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions through the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) as a way of future-proofing growth and reducing risk.
Building on this momentum and in response to demand, major global organizations have formed the Science Based Targets Network. Companies and cities can now register their interest in defining targets to ensure they are doing enough to restore balance to the Earth’s land, oceans, freshwater and biodiversity systems.
Led by newly appointed Executive Director Erin Billman, the 25+ organizations in the Science Based Targets Network are currently developing methods and resources for the new targets which will be informed by current science and reports to be produced by the Earth Commission, launched last September.
Erin Billman said: “Climate change is only one of the urgent, interlocking crises facing the world’s global commons — the foundation of human well-being. The Earth’s soils, air, ocean, biodiversity and freshwater are also increasingly threatened. Together they interact with the climate system, and determine the state of the planet. There can be no safe and prosperous future if we destabilize the Earth’s systems and undermine the web of life that sustains us all.
“By setting science-based targets to reduce emissions, hundreds of businesses are experiencing multiple benefits like increased investor confidence, reduced risk and stronger growth. When companies incorporate the stabilization of all the Earth’s natural systems into their business models, they will enable both society and the environment to thrive.”
To prepare for target setting, registered companies will need to map their supply chains and assess the risks to freshwater, biodiversity, ecosystems and oceans in their major sourcing locations; to disclose environmental data in a standardized format (e.g. to CDP); to take action to avoid and minimize their companies’ negative impacts on land, oceans, freshwater and biodiversity throughout the value chain; to look for opportunities to make a positive contribution to rebalancing the Earth’s natural systems and to advocate for policies to address nature loss by joining Business for Nature.
The Science Based Targets Network and the Earth Commission are part of the Global Commons Alliance, a network of organisations, businesses and governments bringing together powerful leadership, technology, science, innovation, and communication to positively transform the world’s economic systems and protect the global commons.
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The Science Based Targets Network aims to enable companies and cities operate in environmentally sustainable ways to restore balance to the Earth’s interrelated systems of freshwater, biodiversity, land and ocean alongside climate. It is a key component of the Global Commons Alliance, a network of organizations working together to positively transform the world’s economic systems and protect the global commons. Other components include the Earth Commission, launched last September; Earth HQ , a media portal for the planet, tracking the health of Earth systems and progress towards solutions, and the Systems Change Lab, which distills, reports, identifies gaps and promotes coalitions as they push towards systems tipping points in key global commons areas, e.g. forests, ocean, water, urban management etc.
The Science Based Targets Network Council is the oversight body that includes Kevin Moss (Global Director, Business Center, World Resources Institute), Frances Way (Chief Strategy Officer, CDP Worldwide), Cristianne Close, Global Practice Leader, Markets, World Wildlife Fund, Lila Karbassi (Chief, Programmes, United Nations Global Compact), Akanksha Khatri (Head, Nature and Biodiversity Initiative, World Economic Forum), Jennifer Morris (President, Conservation International).
The Earth Commission is a group of leading scientists convened by the international research organization, Future Earth. Their mission is to synthesize the latest science to underpin the development of science-based targets for systems like land, water, and biodiversity. The Earth Commission Executive Director is Apurva Dave of Future Earth.
Earth HQ (under construction at www.globalcommonsalliance.org) Executive Director is Tim Kelly. Earth HQ will serve as a media portal for the planet, sharing an overall picture of how Earth Systems are performing and tracking progress.
DATEJanuary 21, 2020
AUTHORFutureEarth Staff Member
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